City Council committee addresses fear surrounding COVID-19

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The City Council committee on health and hospitals is easing concerns surrounding COVID-19 and informing the public on how the city is prepared to combat it.

The committee addressed the fear that is surrounding the virus and promised New Yorkers that they do not need to live in fear. They also said New Yorkers can go about their daily lives but said that they should take some preventative measures.

Dr. Oxiris Barbot with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is encouraging New Yorkers to continue their daily travel on public transit and continue going to school and work as they normally would. She says those who are at greater risk include those with pre-existing medical conditions and the elderly.

School children seem to be the least at risk, but the Department of Education is still deep-cleaning the schools. Barbot and the City Council are encouraging anyone who feels sick to stay home and get medical attention.

The World Health Organization says 80% of people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms. The symptoms are a fever followed by a dry cough and some shortness of breath.

The WHO says to prevent the spread through person-to-person contact you should wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Barbot says you can't catch COVID-19 unless an infected person coughs or sneezes on you and you touch your mouth or face.

They also say that whether or not you have health insurance or what your immigration status is, you can still be treated at city hospitals. They also say that if the outbreak gets worse they have 12,000 beds available for care.

The WHO says you don't need to wear a face mask if you're not feeling sick but that you should also not target anyone whos does choose to wear a face mask.

They also say that if you see anyone being discriminated against because of their ethnicity or health to call 311.

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